Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Great Social Media Campaign in 5 "Easy" Steps

Our series on tactics has finally reached the point where you are right on the cusp of launching your promotional campaign.

Hopefully by now, you've been spending time with Social Media and feel comfortable with the basics of Finding, Engaging and Rewarding your audience.

Now you're taking your skills on the road with a program designed to promote something specific.

Tactics around this can be as simple as signing up for a social networking platform, or may be as complex as building an integrated community on your website. I can't tell you which platform to choose, or what media. Those decisions have to be made by you. Because there are a *zillion* sources already about how to build a great /fillintheblank/ I'm going to gloss over this step a little.

Chances are, you're making your decisions based on a number of constantly shifting criteria, so try to build in flexibility in whatever platform you choose. We all have great dreams, but if you look at your choices without delusion, you'll fare much better.

After you have you springboard platform, here's a few next steps to creating a great Social Media promotion:

1) Chose the media most likely to appeal to your audience

Promoting a Website? A DVD? A game? A book? Each media appeals to different people differently. Match the media to the product, so your audience is already in synch with your message before you even start.

2) Have (and communicate) a clear message. I.e., why should people care about your promotion?

It's great that you're launching a new product or company. If you don't tell people what they are looking at, why it's important to them and why they should tell other people - they won't know.

3) Brand your SM presences and your promotion in a consistent manner.

If your Youtube channel is yellow and blue, and your Facebook Fan Page is green and red, it's hard for your audience to see the connection. Using the same logos, the same taglines, the same URLS seems uncreative, but it's not. Consistency helps in SEO, in SEM, in Social Media and any other form of marketing communications.

4) Make it easy for people to communicate with you.

"Contact Us" your website says, but then requires registration, which requires getting a confirmation email, which then sends you back to the site where your customer can finally email you. It's a great idea - instant market research...on the 3% of people angry enough to bother to complete the process. The more layers you put between people and you, the less engagement you'll get.

5) Give people a reason to share your information. Your promotion is only viral if people share it.

This one seems to escape most companies almost entirely. How nice for you that a video of your promotion is online. People might watch it, but will they share it? Your promotional campaign can (and should) build in a reward for sharing your information, which will create at least a little traction. There's still no guarantee that your campaign will become viral, but at least you've given it a good push.

The title of today's post is at least a little facetious. None of these steps are easy, but they are all critical to a great Social Media promotional campaign.
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